Adjunct lecturer in public policy Elizabeth Burke Bryant will co-chair the university’s new TRI-Lab initiative. The first TRI-Lab, which stands for Teaching, Research, and Impact, begins during the 2013–2014 academic year.
The focus of the inaugural lab will be early childhood development in Rhode Island. Bryant is the executive director of Rhode Island Kids Count, a children’s policy and advocacy organization that serves as a hub for data and information concerning child well-being.
Brown’s Swearer Center has launched the TRI-Lab to bring together students, faculty, and community practitioners to engage with a complex social issue in order to develop, refine, and test solutions to the issue. The backbone of the lab will be a year-long seminar in which Brown upper-class and graduate students will explore the framework and context of the issue collaboratively with seven faculty and community members whose work relates to early childhood development. In the year following the seminar, lab cohorts can apply for seed funding to continue to work together to build solutions to the problems they have studied the previous year.
Bryant was tapped for the role by Brown president Christina Paxson and Stephen Buka, faculty co-chair of the TRI-lab and professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology. She will assist Buka in leading the lab by ensuring that vital community partners are fully engaged, providing mentoring to students, and forging deeper working partnerships with Brown faculty.
“I am very excited about this work because I think it is an unprecedented opportunity to make needed improvements in the early childhood system that will have a direct impact on Rhode Island’s poor and at-risk young children by bringing together powerful assets and allies in a much more targeted and coordinated fashion, through the TRI-Lab,” said Bryant.
“Co-chairing the TRI-Lab is a great fit with my work as an adjunct at the Taubman Center because it is about harnessing the power of strategic partnerships across the nonprofit, academic, and government sectors to drive policy change,” she said.